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What kinds of R&D consortia enhance SMEs productivity? Evidence from a small-business innovation policy


  • Annalisa Caloffi

    () (University of Padova)

  • Marco Mariani

    () (IRPET)

  • Fabrizia Mealli

    () (University of Firenze)


We present results from an experiment with multiple public goods, where each good produces benefits only if total contributions to it reach a minimum threshold. The experiment allows us to compare contributions in a benchmark treatment with a single public good and in treatments with more public goods than can be funded. The presence of multiple public goods makes coordination among participants more diffcult, discouraging contributions, and decreasing the likelihood of any public good being effectively funded. Multiplicity decreases funding unless one public good stands out as being the most efficient alternative. Applied to the case of philanthropy, the results show how overall donations and the number of effectively funded charities may both decrease as the total number of charities increase. This is true even if the new charities offer higher potential benefits than previous options.

Suggested Citation

  • Annalisa Caloffi & Marco Mariani & Fabrizia Mealli, 2013. "What kinds of R&D consortia enhance SMEs productivity? Evidence from a small-business innovation policy," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0172, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  • Handle: RePEc:pad:wpaper:0172

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. d'Aspremont, Claude & Jacquemin, Alexis, 1988. "Cooperative and Noncooperative R&D in Duopoly with Spillovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1133-1137, December.
    2. Robson, Paul J A & Bennett, Robert J, 2000. "SME Growth: The Relationship with Business Advice and External Collaboration," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 193-208.
    3. Hagedoorn, John & Link, Albert N. & Vonortas, Nicholas S., 2000. "Research partnerships1," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 567-586, April.
    4. Acs, Zoltan J & Audretsch, David B, 1988. "Innovation in Large and Small Firms: An Empirical Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 678-690, September.
    5. Howells, Jeremy, 2006. "Intermediation and the role of intermediaries in innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 715-728, June.
    6. Beath, John & Poyago-Theotoky, Joanna & Ulph, David, 1998. "Organization Design and Information-Sharing in a Research Joint Venture with Spillovers," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 47-59, January.
    7. Bizan, Oded, 2003. "The determinants of success of R&D projects: evidence from American-Israeli research alliances," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1619-1640, October.
    8. Acs, Zoltan J & Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1994. "R&D Spillovers and Recipient Firm Size," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(2), pages 336-340, May.
    9. Fritsch, Michael & Lukas, Rolf, 2001. "Who cooperates on R&D?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 297-312, February.
    10. Jackson, Matthew O. & Wolinsky, Asher, 1996. "A Strategic Model of Social and Economic Networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 44-74, October.
    11. Bronwyn H. Hall & Albert N. Link & John T. Scott, 2003. "Universities as Research Partners," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 485-491, May.
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    More about this item


    R&D consortia; innovation policy; small and medium-sized enterprises.;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods


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